DOH JAMES SONKEY
International pharmaceutical company, Novartis has announced a five-year commitment to help Cameroon in the fight against malaria. Announcing this commitment last April 17, 2018, Novartis officials explained that “Through this commitment our company will invest more than USD 100 million to advance research and development of next-generation treatments to combat emerging resistance to artemisinin and other currently used antimalarials.”
The announcement came at the time Cameroon was observing a national week in the fight against malaria described by health officials as the number one killer disease especially among pregnant women and children.
The commitment includes expanding access to pediatric antimalarials and implementing capacity-building programs to contribute to the WHO’s target of reducing malaria-related child mortality by at least 90% by 2030.
“Resistance to treatment presents the biggest threat to the incredible progress that has been made in the fight against malaria in the past 20 years. We cannot afford to wait; this is why we are committing to advance the research and development of next-generation treatments,” said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. “At the same time, we need to work to ensure that our innovation reaches those most in need, even those in the most remote locations.”
The announcement was made simultaneously with the launching of a study report on the future of malaria in Africa titled The MalaFA study commissioned by Novartis and co-chaired by Dr Richard Kamwi, Ambassador, Elimination 8 (E8), and Professor Bob Snow, of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust program, Kenya and University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
The report presents new African research on progress and remaining challenges toward the 2030 malaria elimination targets. A total of 68 African experts from governments, the research community and NGOs were interviewed across 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa where these countries represent different levels of malaria endemicity.
With Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2017, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.1 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 122,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world.